Posted by: Anna | November 15, 2010

The Best Place You’ve Never Heard of

Perhaps that got your attention. When traveling for a long time, we have the advantage of changing our itinerary as we hear from other travelers about places that are awesome. Petra is one of those places. We did not intend to visit initially, knew nothing about it, and yet here we are. If you are like us, you are wondering…where is Petra? What is Petra?

Petra is a lost city, located in Jordan. I admit, my knowledge of Middle Eastern countries before leaving on this trip lacked nuance, and Jordan has been a lesson in not relying on vague impressions from the news five years ago in making travel decisions. Today, Jordan is a country at peace, with diplomatic relations with Israel. It is also filled with some of the nicest people we’ve met.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and Petra is certainly best described so.  So here are a couple to get you started.

The Monastery, from the high point

The Treasury, hewn from the rocks around it

We hiked up to the “monastery” – I put it in quotes because it isn’t really a monastery, and never was.

The craziest thing about Petra to me (other than that I’ve never heard of it) is how. How did they create these crazy stone carvings thousands of years ago? When you reflect on the necessary logistics, it is mind blowing.

I was working on my Israel haiku, and I came up with one for Petra, so here it is.

I reflect on time.
How nothing lasts, even stone.
Grasp each day with love.

Looking at a ruined city that was once a proud civilization makes you think how our creations on earth are fleeting – the men who built these tombs for themselves thought they would last forever, but nothing does.

It is worth your time to visit the Flickr page for Petra.  We published our 36 best pictures from what was a spectacularly visual place.  Click here.

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  1. did you guys ride the camels to get here? how far from civilization were you? AMAZING pictures!!

  2. Petra was brought to the silver screen in Indiana Jones 3 the Last Crusade where Indy has to choose which cup is the holy grail… he chooses wisely.

  3. WOW! And what is the temperature? You seem to be having amazing weather everywhere except Russia. I know that was the plan but it does seem to be turning out well. It could be so HOT there if you didn’t plan for that.

    What is so great about Petra? Other than the stone carvings?

  4. If that’s the best place you’ve never heard of, perhaps Anne Frank’s house is the worst place you’ve heard of. The whole house was out of context. It was a bit of a disappointment.

  5. […] how Anna slept 0 minutes for the entire day, so it qualifies. Tommy’s Top 5 Coolest Sites: Petra Ta Prohm Taj Mahal Sossusvlei Bethlehem Anna’s Top 5 Coolest Sites: Kremlin Pyramids […]

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